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Pep Guardiola rested SIX key players – with 10 starters vs. Liverpool ‘confirmed’

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Man City coasted to the quarter-finals of the Champions League with a 6-2 win over two legs vs. Copenhagen, with Pep Guardiola’s lineup a big hint for Liverpool.

Coming up against a Copenhagen side including ex-Liverpool goalkeeper Kamil Grabara, Man City made light work of their second leg as they won 3-1 at the Etihad.

It came four days before their trip to Anfield in the Premier League, and Guardiola used the opportunity to rotate his squad and rest six key players.

Kevin De Bruyne, Phil Foden, Bernardo Silva, Kyle Walker and Nathan Ake were all unused substitutes on the night, while John Stones came off the bench at half-time.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 6, 2024: Manchester City team group during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Manchester City FC and FC Copenhagen at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Stones replaced Ruben Dias at the break, with Rodri also brought off halfway through the tie and replaced by Sergio Gomez.

The win was already wrapped up by then, with Manuel Akanji, Julian Alvarez and Erling Haaland all scoring, along with a consolation from Mohamed Elyounoussi.

With his changes and substitutions in midweek, Guardiola effectively showed his hand for the clash with Liverpool on Sunday.

That sees 10 starters for the 3.45pm kickoff as all but confirmed, with Ederson and Haaland the only two of those to play all or the majority of the win over Copenhagen.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Saturday, November 25, 2023: Manchester City's goalkeeper Ederson Santana de Moraes (L) and Liverpool's Mohamed Salah at the final whistle during the FA Premier League match between Manchester City FC and Liverpool FC at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Ederson will keep his place in goal, with Guardiola likely to line his side up in his regular 3-2-4-1 formation with Walker, Dias and Ake at the back.

Stones should join Rodri in midfield, with Silva, De Bruyne and Foden among the more attacking midfielders supporting Haaland.

That would leave one spot available, with Alvarez perhaps the most likely starter on the left-hand side with injury doubts over Jeremy Doku (muscle).

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - Wednesday, March 6, 2024: Manchester City's Julian Alvarez during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 2nd Leg match between Manchester City FC and FC Copenhagen at the City of Manchester Stadium. (Photo by Paul Currie/Propaganda)

Doku was unable to train in the buildup to the Copenhagen tie, while Jack Grealish (groin) is also expected to miss out and Matheus Nunes suffered a nasty finger injury on Wednesday but should be available.

Guardiola does often look to spring a surprise in high-profile fixtures, however, and the likes of Mateo Kovacic, Rico Lewis, Josko Gvardiol, Manuel Akanji and even Oscar Bobb are all options.

Likely Man City XI vs. Liverpool: Ederson; Walker, Dias, Ake; Stones, Rodri; Silva, De Bruyne, Foden, Alvarez; Haaland